May 3, 2014

India's most influential politicians?

The two politicians who have figured in Time's most influential list for 2014: no prize for guessing: Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal.

It is interesting to see what Time tells about them:

Narendra Modi

The divisive politician poised to lead the world's largest democracy 
Elections are reactions, often negative reactions. That is surely the explanation for the breathtaking rise of Narendra Modi, who — if the opinion polls are accurate — is poised to become India’s next Prime Minister, and thus the world leader chosen by the largest electorate on the planet. India is currently ruled by Manmohan Singh, a mild-mannered 81-year-old technocrat with no political power of his own and a passive leadership style. Reverse every one of those traits and you have Modi, the charismatic, intense, utterly decisive head of Gujarat, one of India’s fastest-growing states. Most Indians believe that their country has lost its way as its growth rate has been almost halved while inflation has soared. Modi has a reputation for quick action, encouraging the private sector, and good governance. He also has a reputation for autocratic rule and a dark Hindu-nationalist streak. But those concerns are waning in a country desperate for change.

Arvind Kejriwal

A powerful outsider in Indian politics 
collage taken from Time website
Arvind Kejriwal is the antithesis of the modern-day Indian politician. He’s no Hindu nationalist, he doesn’t have a famous surname, and no, there is no evidence that he has made money from politics.A former civil servant, he cut his teeth in public life as an activist campaigning for greater transparency in government. But it was his role as the driving force behind a grassroots anticorruption movement in 2011 that catapulted him onto the national stage. Late last year, he became chief minister of Delhi following a remarkable political debut by his Aam Aadmi, or common man, party.Though his administration lasted a mere 49 days, with Kejriwal proving less adept at turning the wheels of government than campaigning against it, his image as the quintessential outsider taking on powerful interests — a David versus many mighty Goliaths — has earned him a unique place in Indian politics.
Modi has been included in the category of 'Leader' and Kejriwal in 'Pioneer'. The list also includes Arundhati Roy in the category of 'Icon'. What happened to Sonia and Rahul?